Creating a Global View of Supply Chain Risk
Supply chain risk is something that all businesses must account for whether they are aware of it or not. A recent report from McKinsey found that in 2019, natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and fires result in global losses of $150 billion.
For organisations hoping to create a global picture of potential risk, a number of barriers stand in their way.
- Relevance and Recency
Time is a valuable commodity, especially with regards to supply chain management. Supply chain managers require information that is both recent and relevant if they are to create a comprehensive picture of risk within their supply chain. The agri-food supply chain is particularly vulnerable to these types of threats as outlined in a 2019 report from Lloyd’s of London, stating that “Supply chains need to be ‘consumer aware’ and any failures in livestock care, labelling, contamination and environmental impacts will threaten the economic survival of those businesses in it”.
- Language Barriers
For organisations with a global presence, language barriers can often present a major challenge. Creating a comprehensive, yet understandable picture of an international marketplace is essential to maintaining and securing supply chains. Language barriers, in the context of supply chain safety, go beyond the specific native, spoken language of a country and also account for colloquialisms and dialects. This topic is discussed in more detail in our recent “Pop, Soda or Coke” blogpost.
- Volume of Data
Unsurprisingly, creating a consistent, relevant, and global picture of supply chain risk requires a large volume of data. Beyond volume, it can also often require data from a variety of disconnected sources. At scales such as these, inaccurate or misleading data can also result in incorrect assumptions and overlooked threats. For example, the World Bank estimates that for a variety of reasons, recorded imports and exports between two countries can often vary significantly.
Solving the Problem
Organisations hoping to address issues such as these might consider the following.
- Real-time Insights
Real-time data streams help to eliminate data lag and provide supply chain managers with an accurate and up-to-date picture of their supply chain. Our solution, Farsight Horizon Scanner, helps to eliminate data the issue of outdated and inaccurate data, by intuitively mapping the entire Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) database and user-defined, food product specific global reports from over 40,000 news sites; Providing users with a more robust picture in real-time.
- Adding Context & Understanding
Semantic Understanding solutions enable users to process, search and interrogate documents and data based on concepts and ideas, rather than keywords. In our recent White Paper, we explored Natural Language Processing and Semantic Understanding helped the Applications and Assessment Team at Innovate UK respond to some of the unique challenges they faced as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Filling in the Blanks
Combining disparate data within a single platform provides users with a means of cross-referencing and confirming the accuracy of their insights. Our solution, Multilateral, created for Coriolis Technologies ingests and maintains up-to-date trade data from the United Nations Comtrade Database and enriches it by also ingesting data from over 15 additional structured/ semi-structured data sources.
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